The Saturday launch of Gento Kamara’s Manifesto in furtherance of his campaign to become the next Mayor of Freetown, has ushered in a new era of politics in the capital city.
For once, Gento has articulated the core challenges of living in Freetown while at the same time providing a realistic plan on how to achieve results for all of its citizens. It is perhaps a testament to his lived experience, growing up in East End and rising to become a business magnate, that he can both understand the harsh aspects of eking out a daily living and have the ability to provide a way forward. His clear focus on things that matter – piped water, a clean city, enhanced public services, nice spaces to come together as a community – makes his vision appealing to voters. His mission to holistically improve the well-being of Freetonians is practical and possible; his commendable track-record as an entrepreneur lends credence to his claims.
Gento’s campaign is unique for another reason too. It is purposefully inclusive, both in terms of representation and with respect to the groups he intends to serve. By virtue of his own candidature, Gento will show Sierra Leoneans that the “Kontri and Krio can actually work as a team to help transform the city of Freetown without anyone feeling left out. By getting himself on the ballot, he has shown that people from upcountry deserve consideration and are capable of spearheading the change Freetown needs. Many voters have had their minds opened to the possibility that no matter what tribe they come from, they can aspire to positions of power. Remarkably, Gento has managed to promote ethnic inclusivity without demonstrating an anti-Krio bias, given that his running mate is Krio and Christian.
Another departure from the ordinary is that Gento has promised to intentionally work with traditional and religious leaders on matters impacting the city. This is important because such leaders have typically been sidelined from democratic processes and formal decision making. Yet they are greatly respected by and have direct connection to the electorate. By bringing their views to the table, Gento will have succeeded in increasing the responsiveness of his administration to the needs of the people.
On a personal note, Mohamed Gento Kamara and I have lived in the same neighborhood at Hill Station when I was a student at Fourah Bay College and I know how much he is passionate about developing the skills and competencies of young people. I know how much he supported the personal and professional growth and development of young people including my good self. I witnessed first hand how he built a company from scratch to a multimillion dollar company employing a number of young people and contributing greatly to infrastructural development and economic growth and development. I have seen a man who is passionate about transforming the city and prioritizing people centered Security. He does not judge people on the basis of tribe, religion, sex etc but on the basics of their character and merit.
For sure, a Freetown for all is guaranteed if Gento is elected Mayor on 24th June.
Written By: Alfred Kamanda Esq.